Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ministry Update - February 10, 2010

BRINGING THE TEAM TOGETHER

I am constantly amazed at the way God directs His people for the expansion of His Kingdom. Here in Jerez, Mexico we have seen a number of gifted ministers recently come together to work in the Cave of Adullam school this April. This has prompted greater anticipation and more earnest praying. Everyone wants to be a part of something greater than themselves or their ministry.

It prompted me to consider the passage in Ephesians 4:11-13 that speaks of five key ministry gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Not surprisingly, as I began to think of the various Mexican leaders that have come, I found each of these ministry gifts are clearly represented. Besides my involvement as a teacher, there are four couples here with very powerful spiritual giftings.

I have known Robert and Ani Duran personally for over thirty-seven years. They are the founders and directors of the Cave of Adullam. As they have faithfully served in Mexico for over thirty years, God has brought them to a place of pastoring pastors and ministry leaders. Many consider Robert to have an apostolic anointing.

Meno and Ivette Longoria have worked with the Cave of Adullam for over ten years. Meno has a prophetic anointing that is quite remarkable. He often receives supernatural dreams and visions. This couple has a heart to serve and they are both accomplished chefs.

Carlos and Christie Perez have been with the ministry since 1999. Christie is the daughter of Robert and Ani. Carlos has ministered in the United States and has been leading evangelism crusades throughout Mexico. They have two children with a third expected in July.

Manuel and Lula Dominguez have been pastors of the Cave of Adullam church in Jerez since 1995. Manuel and Lula were Robert Duran's first converts in Zacatecas. They are spiritual gatekeepers in this city.

I so appreciate the unified diversity we are experiencing. Please continue to pray for this team - that nothing will separate our hearts.

WHY WAS JESUS ASLEEP IN THE BOAT?

A Mexican pastor asked this provocative question once in a church that I was attending. The question continued to provoke me long afterwards and prompted me to reflect on a couple of key events in Christ's life before He faced a life-threatening storm. Soon after Jesus was born, He faced a threat that appeared insurmountable. Herod was determined to kill Him and he had the power to do so. Fortunately, Joseph received a supernatural dream warning him to take his family and flee to Egypt. Because of this divine intervention, little Jesus slipped through Herod's grasp. We can only imagine how many times Joseph and Mary retold this story to Jesus as He grew up. As Jesus began His ministry, He announced His call and authority in His hometown of Nazareth. However, the people in the synagogue responded to Jesus with jealousy and rage. They took Him to a cliff outside of town to throw Him off but Jesus miraculously slipped out of their grasp.

Now we return to the disciples who are caught in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. It was so terrifying that they feared their boat and even their lives could be lost. However, Jesus was able to sleep comfortably through in all. Why could He do this? It was because He had faced danger before and His Father had always provided a way of escape. His spiritual calling from above gave Him the assurance that nothing or no one had the power to keep Him from it.

Like Jesus, I believe our Father is protecting us as we fulfill our spiritual calling. Rather than fearing any circumstance, we need to rest in God's commitment to help us fulfill it. We need to remind ourselves that we possess divine destiny and no one can take it from us. It is ours to hold on to or cast away but it will always be ours.

UNREDEEMED ESCAPE

Jesus' ability to escape every peril took a strange twist one day. As a prisoner, He now stood bound before Pontius Pilate. With no help in sight, He faced an unprecedented threat. Amazingly, Pilate's wife had experienced a deeply disturbing dream the night before. As a result, she sent a message to Pilate telling him to leave Jesus alone. This again, was Jesus' miraculous way of escape. However, this time Jesus took a different position. Rather than redeeming the opportunity, He chose to do nothing. Even when Pilate encouraged Him to respond to the charges, Jesus remained silent. His decision to forfeit His way of escape sealed His fate.

King Saul was delivered into David's hand twice but David forfeited the opportunity to eliminate his mortal foe. The Apostle Paul was prophetically warned of suffering and imprisonment if he went to Jerusalem but he went despite the danger. All of these men chose not to redeem their way of escape. They did so because they believed their sacrifice would bring greater glory to God and His Kingdom.

God may also give us a similar opportunity someday. If He does, we can redeem our protective aid or rest in the knowledge that our sacrifice is bringing a greater glory. This is the perfect love that drives out fear.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philipians 4:6-7 AMP